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Did you know that the Spirit of God in you allows for your discipline? You can do exactly what you need to do if only you lean on the power of the Holy Spirit within you.
“Whoever Brings Blessing Will be Enriched” Proverbs 11:25
Bless Online Discipleship For Women
CLUTTER AND CHAOS
I remember April 1st, 2017. The day when, according to our divorce mediation agreement, I was supposed to move out of our marital residence at Adair Park in Cumming, GA.
It was a beautiful sunny Saturday.
Michel was out of the house but our huge wedding picture kept reminding of him anyway.
Less than a year ago, we had our wedding and I was moving into this very house. Now, I was moving out because Michel didn’t want to be married anymore. Instead, he decided to be an IronMan and complete in Kona.
My reality felt surreal. It didn’t make any sense.
I hired a moving company. They didn’t show up on time and said they won’t be able to come… I had no idea what to do, except pray and believe that things would work out.
I was moving into a beautiful place located on the Chattahoochee river. It was a peaceful heaven.
For 2 weeks prior to the move, while I was still living with Michel in Cumming, I’d stop by my new place on my way from work every day. I would just sit in my empty apartment and enjoy the peace.
Our marital residence was associated in my mind with chaos, abuse, pain, and drama. My new home was associated with peace, safety, joy, and rest.
I was completely exhausted that day. But I was surrounded by good friends who cheered me on. My friends were hustling hard to help me with the move.
My friend Arturo made a long drive to come over and help. He brought his guys from church. His friends also sent me some cash that day, which was unexpected and very touching.
Arturo was the one who eventually persuaded the moving company to go out of their way and honor their contractual obligations. They did show up later that day and moved me to my new home.
Arturo’s wife helped move some stuff and gave me lots of hugs. She comforted me. And she cheered me on.
I needed a lot of enthusiasm because I didn’t have any.
My friend Katharine made delicious healthy food for everyone and helped settle some things after the moving company finally did their job.
Katharine was the last person to walk out of my home when everyone left. I felt like I wanted to hold on to her because my reality felt so surreal and I needed people to reassure me that everything was going to be ok.
There were a few other people who helped that day. I was grateful for everything they did to support and encourage me. The move took multiple trips and a lot of hard work.
When Katharine left, I crushed on the floor in the kitchen and wept.
The next day, I woke up to a disaster.
Everything was everywhere. I had been depressed and suicidal for a long time and I had no energy.
Following the move, I lived in a chaotic mess because the little bit of energy I did have was used to go to work and make a living.
I wanted to not be alive anymore. I didn’t think about the future. I didn’t care about anything. I was numb and zombie-like.
Michel and I were preparing for our divorce jury trial in Forsyth County.
My apartment got flooded a few days after I moved it. My patio furniture was now on top of my living room couch. The place was so dirty. It was disgusting.
Right after that, my master toilet had a leak and there was sewage in my bedroom. Now, I was in the midst of construction.
There were people working every day to fix my patio and there were people fixing my toilet which led to them later having to replace my bedroom floors.
My stuff was piled up everywhere. I couldn’t even figure out where to start settling and organizing. I had no mental power to think about the mess. I had no physical energy to clean anything.
I had only fortitude to push through one moment at a time. One breath at a time. One blink at a time. One thought at a time.
I couldn’t give any thought to the discipline of cleaning up because I needed all my thought power to be dedicated to staying alive.
I spent my weekends walking around all that clutter and chaos trying to regroup mentally. I had no discipline to start conquering the mishmash I lived in.
I only had discipline to still live.
I was holding on to my faith one second at a time. I needed to still be around for my next breath. That was the only item on my to-do list every day.
The laundry eventually piled up on my bed which was never made. The dishes were everywhere, dirty and stinky, attacked by some little bugs. The collection of unopened mail was outgrowing my guest bedroom. The guest bedroom itself was slowly turned into a trashed storage space.
There was no where to sit because random papers and stuff were all over my guest couch, patio furniture was piled up on top of my living room couch, and shoes with purses were occupying every single chair. My bed was a place for laundry, and there was almost no room to sleep.
There was no where to walk either because all those chairs with stuff piled up on top of them were blocking every hallway since boxes where placed on and under every table and desk.
I was tired from the 2 divorces in our first year of marriage. I was tired from moving twice in 1 year. I was tired from being sick and depressed. I was tired from being tired.
I had no discipline to get started on conquering that clutter composition.
Of course, I didn’t work out. I was spending most of my time trying to sleep through my suicidal thoughts. Whenever I was not sleeping, I was eating to comfort my anxiety and emotional pain.
I ate steak with chicken and feta cheese and sour cream on top of everything. I gained so much weight, I hardly could find clothes to wear to work. I was bloated and inflamed. I was constipated and covered in acne.
I hated Michel for what he had done. I hated myself for marrying Michel and accepting his last name. I hated my home that looked and smelled so awful. I hated my life for being so miserable.
THE DISCIPLINE FROM THE SPIRIT
I will be honest with you. From all the chaos and misery, I was sinking in my suicidal depression more and more.
One day, I wrote this poem.
video self pity
When I watched that video and listened to that poem, I saw clearly that I was going no where fast.
I realized that I was trying to deal with life in my own power. That’s why I had no discipline. All I had was hopelessness and self-pity.
2 Timothy 1-7 says this:
“For the Spirit God gave us … gives us power, love and self-discipline.”
The Spirit God gave us… But how?
How can I have power? How can I feel love instead of hatred?
Can the Holy Spirit clean up my home, take my trash out, organize my space, and make me workout and eat healthy?
And then I realized that I gave into the habit of depression. Not cleaning up and not taking care of myself and my home became my habits. Self-pity and victim-mentality became my habits.
I started writing out vigorously the habits I wanted to have. I wanted to honor God with my lifestyle.
I wanted to be disciplined and do my chores in time. I wanted to be proactive and not procrastinate anymore with anything. I wanted to live in a beautiful home with a pleasant atmosphere. I wanted to lose weight and get my health back. I wanted my bed to be made every day. I wanted my laundry to be folded. I wanted my dishwasher to be unloaded timely. I wanted my trash to be taken out every other day. I wanted to do 10000 steps and 100 squats a day. I wanted to read again.
I wanted to practice all the disciplines God talks about in the Bible: prayer, kindness, patience, courage, self-control …
And I decided to lean on the Holy Spirit to help me build the God-honoring habits to glorify God with my life.
Proverbs 3:11-12 says this:
My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof,
for the Lord reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.
I realized how much I loved Jesus. He died to set me free from depression, procrastination, and devastation.
I was His special child, and He disciplined me for my bad life choices. His discipline was supposed to teach me wisdom.
The wisdom was that I needed to lean on Him in every aspect of life.
And here I was feeling helpless and powerless. I found my power in Christ Jesus and I decided to change the trajectory of my life.
I took on 100 squats challenge, and everything changed!
100 squats a day challenge video
THE HARVEST OF PEACE
I wrote out my habits. I captured on paper what exactly I wanted to practice for 30 days.
Wake up and smile on purpose. Pray in gratitude and remember who you are in Christ by repeating a Biblical affirmation. Get up and stretch. Drink lemon water to help your metabolism. Make the bed.
These were some of my morning habits.
Soon, my home was in order, I got organized, I lost 21 lb, I gained incredible positive energy, I became healthy, I was resting in God’s peace, and all that gave me an opportunity to have deep joy.
FROM MISERABLE TO MAGNIFICENT
God’s discipline transformed my life from miserable to magnificent!
Hebrews 12:11 says this:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.”
Indeed, this very thing happened to me. The harvest of peace, joy, good health, and mental clarity was the reward for my discipline.
It was the doings of the Holy Spirit. All I did was listen to God’s Spirit and obey.
And here’s the result of my 30 days of new habits:
video of body transformation
Today, I feel vibrant, healthy, disciplined, focused, organized, energized, alive, excited, beautiful, strong, and enthusiastic about my home, my life, my relationship with Christ, my ministry, and my future. I feel joyful, grateful, serene, cheerful, hopeful, and peaceful.
Can you relate to my story?
Do you believe that the Spirit that God gives you allows you to be disciplined?
If you believe, memorize the Biblical affirmation below and practice it often to remind yourself whom to lean on in order to stay disciplined.
I am disciplined.
The Spirit that God gives me
Allows for my self-discipline.
Obeying God’s will peace brings me.
To the Holy Spirit I’m listening.
What are some new habits you will start practicing now using your self-discipline?
Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear about your life transformation!
If this devotional was helpful, download all #52Devotionals now.
Anna Szabo is the founder of Online Discipleship For Women, a Christian ministry committed to alleviating suicide among women globally by sharing hope in Christ. Anna teaches how to create a joyful life by embracing God’s word based on her own journey of faith and fortitude.